Nursing & Health Sciences

Nursing & Health Sciences

Ready to make a difference? The department of nursing and health sciences includes programs preparing students for careers in allied health, emergency services, and nursing. The largest academic program at PUC, the department is known for caring instructors and hands-on experience from day one.

Fast Facts


PUC’s nursing degrees are the most popular majors at PUC. Joining the nursing program means sharing the experience with a group of classmates who understand each challenge and success!


The AS degree nursing program is approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing, and both the AS and BSN degree nursing programs at PUC are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.


Students have access to leading health care hospitals in the area, with clinical experiences at facilities located in Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Lake counties.


The PUC nursing program uses a two-step approach to educating students for a career in nursing. The education begins with the AS degree, which prepares students for RN licensure, and then continues on to complete the course requirements for the BSN degree.


The Emergency Services program educates individuals who are seeking an two-year or four-year degree that prepares them students for the position of EMTs as well as other positions in related fields such as offices of emergency services and firefighting.


The A.S. in Health Sciences is a general studies degree with an emphasis on the life and social sciences. This degree is appropriate for students with an interest in the field of health sciences.

Tyler McCulloch Gives Back

Tyler McCulloch

Tyler McCulloch is a young man who understands Christ’s admonition in the book of Luke that “from everyone who has been given much, much will be required.” The concept forms the basis of his whole experience at Pacific Union College.

“I don’t deserve to be here,” says Tyler, a junior Spanish/pre-nursing major from Southern California. “Because PUC has given so much to me, I want to try to give back as much as I can.”

When Tyler was a child, his father was diagnosed with cancer, eventually succumbing to the disease while Tyler was in high school. The long medical battle devastated the family in more ways than one—Tyler’s mother had to quit working in order to take care of her husband. Years after the traumatic ordeal the family is still recovering emotionally and financially.

So when Tyler fell in love with PUC as a prospective student, finances were a major issue. But a Seventh-day Adventist education was a priority, and PUC’s nursing program, study abroad opportunities, and beautiful setting and community made the school first in his heart.

“I could not be here without financial aid,” he says. This year, his financial aid includes the Doug Abbott Men in Nursing Scholarship, founded by the family of a late recent PUC graduate, and the Class of 1994 scholarship, funded by generous contributions from a group of alumni.

The ability to afford a top-notch education at PUC was the ultimate gift for Tyler, who has spent the ensuing three years making sure he was worthy of the privilege. He volunteers with REVO, a student organization devoted to making life better for others one cause at a time, and KidzReach, a group that provides positive adult role models for at-risk children in the Napa Valley. He’s also co-director of Interactions, a group that brings PUC students together for a shared worship experience on Friday evenings.

Professor Winkle Named Honorary Commander

Winkle directs the only on-base nursing program in the Air Force, and it's given many Med Techs a chance to complete a degree.

Debra Winkle

In a ceremony held at the David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Debra Winkle, the director of Med Tech/LVN to RN programs for Pacific Union College, was made an Honorary Commander of the 60th Medical Group’s Inpatient Operations Squadron at David Grant USAF Medical Center.

Winkle coordinates the nursing program for PUC that allows Licensed Vocational Nurses to complete a degree and become Registered Nurses, and she runs a branch of this program for medical technicians at Travis. It's the only on-base nursing program in the Air Force, and it's given many Med Techs a chance to complete a degree — despite full-time jobs, families, and deployments — which has the potential to move their careers forward, both in and out of the military.

So when Colonel Lynne Taylor, 60th Inpatient Operations Squadron commander, presented Winkle with the squadron flag and Commander's pin, 60 IPTS personnel gave Winkle a standing ovation.

The goal of the Honorary Commander program is to nurture a link between civilian supporters and senior leadership at Travis AFB. According to the program guide, Honorary Commanders can be nominated from a variety of community affiliations to "assure an exchange of new ideas, energy and perspectives." Winkle explains that she and Col. Taylor now invite each other to functions at PUC and DGMC "to expose each other to the missions of our respective places," including an invitation for Winkle to attend a “boot camp” held at Travis AFB and one for Taylor to speak at PUC's nurses pinning ceremony during Commencement Weekend.

Col. Taylor also asked Winkle to address her staff after she was presented with the flag and pin. Because 60 IPTS is composed of medical personnel from Airmen all the way up to high-ranking officers at DGMC, not all were familiar with PUC’s Med Tech to RN program. Winkle provided an overview and spoke briefly about current events and where nursing is right now in the state of California.

Though Winkle keeps plenty busy helping Med Techs and LVNs earn their RNs, she knew that taking on this Honorary Commander role would be positive for both PUC, DGMC and Travis. "I think it's a win-win," she said.

Laura Kopitzke Labore: Nurse First, Pilot Second

Laura Labore

For the past eight years, Laura Kopitzke LaBore has lived in jungles of the South American nation of Guyana, serving an incredible mission of health and hope. LaBore is a nurse and a pilot for Adventist World Aviation, a ministry that provides emergency medical care and evacuation, as well as friendship evangelism and routine health services, into the most unreachable areas of the world. She says her main goal is to show God’s love in any way possible.

“What makes her exceptional is her absolute dedication to the mission.”

“What makes her exceptional is her absolute dedication to the mission,” says Jud Rickwire, director of operations for AWA. “She just works tirelessly to keep the operation going.” LaBore describes herself as a nurse first and a pilot second, and in addition to her flights, she regularly takes a motorcycle or simply walks to remote villages to provide medical care. In addition to her service, she and her husband Bill, who directs the Guyana project, also have the welcome challenge or raising two young children in the intense environment of the mission field.

LaBore was recognized as an Honored Alumnus during Pacific Union College’s 2013 Homecoming Weekend. She gave a presentation on Friday evening to the student body about her work. “We can fly all day long, but if we don’t bring people closer to Christ, what are we doing here?” she said. “If you put your lives in His hands, He will do wonderful things through you.”